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View Full Version : WHERE DO YOU ADVERTISE?


Mowman
08-14-2000, 06:17 PM
NEWSPAPER? RADIO? OR SOMEWHERE ELSE? I HAVE TRIED LOCAL NEWSPAPER FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS WITHOUT MUCH SUCCESS. YOUR ADVICE WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. MOWMAN

Twotoros
08-14-2000, 06:43 PM
Newspaper has been Ok to pretty good.
Yellow page ad 3x3" was expensive and results in my area are bad . Of coarse my business name'Rainier Lawn Service' doesn't do as good as something closer to the begining of the alphabet.Now I just have a regular listing in the yellows.
I have tried a BBB ad campaign - No results at all and very expensive.
Direct mail was ok. That was before computers and if I do it again I will target thr accounts I desire with my own computer and printer. Next season I will target commercial accts. only .
Best results have and will always be word of mouth via your satisfied customers . Also it is free.

bob
08-14-2000, 09:03 PM
I looked into a yellow pages ad, but thought it was to expensive. I very selective on the lawns I take on -no small gates, must be in my area. Most of my new customers come from refferals. Either by a present lawn customer or a friendly competitor.

dhicks
08-14-2000, 09:22 PM
The Internet. I established my business on the Internet about May 1, 2000. Word of mouth from your present customers is your best and most economical means to advertise. My Internet presence has generated 5 accounts. Not bad considering the Web Hosting is about $11.XX per month. A second thing that helps me with the Internet is that I live close to D.C. and most people have web access.

My customers love to pay online: no fuss and I get my money within two days.

Kevin
08-14-2000, 09:43 PM
I agree that the best advertising is word of mouth. Let your current customers know that you are looking for more clients! I've also had good luck with Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages.

KirbysLawn
08-14-2000, 09:56 PM
I'm with Dhicks, the Internet is by far the best advertising for the dollar! I have 11 accounts from my web site and had three people apply for service from my site TODAY! Just think, someone goes to http://www.yahoo.com and types "lawn maintenance charlotte", I'm the only one that shows up! :D :D

I also have a dollar size, full color ad in the yellow pages that get's good response. Very little response from the paper or local newsletters.

yardsmith
08-14-2000, 11:03 PM
85% of my biz comes from Yellow pages. Alot of times it takes a year or 2 before you become common name thay remember seeing, etc.
Also flyers are good, because you can target the exact area you want.
Stay away from phone book covers, resturant placemats (yeah I had offers on those!), & val-pak mailings. Most people throw 98 out of 100 of those coupons, & your $$ goes to people in ALL neighborhoods, esp. those you don't want to work in.
Business cards are also a must. Good for personal contacts.

Toddppm
08-14-2000, 11:19 PM
Can't wait to get on the web after hearing the response you all are getting! I advertise in the yellow pages, works ok. I also advertise in a local coupon book , by far the best thing i've tried, pretty expensive but i get flooded with calls everytime one goes out. I signed up to get a web page when i signed for yellow pages last year, they asked me a few questions and put it up, it sucked! Cancelled it , but they still have it up, i've actually gotten a couple calls from it but no work, guess i'll design my own in the slow season.

Runner
08-14-2000, 11:40 PM
We advertise on every job we do. Always remember that a satisfied customer will tell 3 people while an unsatisfied customer will tell 6. We work VERY close to our home area now. (No job more than 20 minutes away, 90% of work is within 5-15 minutes away) The bad thing about flyers, is you might get 1 call in 500 flyers. One idea is get permission to leave some business cards at your local "diner type" restaurant. Old people and busy people eat out alot. I also found the newspaper works well for seasonal things such as spring and fall cleanup. But a GREAT way to go, is the advice I took from my boss, the owner of a MULTI landscaping and grounds co., and that is to just take notice of the places in your area THAT NEED THE HELP. That's where the market is.

1MajorTom
08-14-2000, 11:46 PM
I think with a lot of questions asked here, it really depends upon your area. Many times I read things here that I know just won't work in our area.

When we first started, we tried flyers. Passed out over 1500, and got very little calls back. Didn't work.

Then we tried our newspaper. (The local service directory).
What we found was about 10 or 12 other people advertising their services also. None of these people were legitimate companies. (College or high school kids or uninsured people doing this in their spare time.) We couldn't and didn't want to compete with that, so we pulled our ad. Think we got a couple customers from it. Big deal.

Then we thought of the yellow pages. Opened up the phone book and found only 3 people listed under lawn maintenance.
Two of which were really into the landscaping end of things.
Didn't run an ad because I didn't think it was going to be worth it.

Then I mentioned something to Matt that I had seen the previous year. An advertisement done by an insurance agency. I told him I thought it would work for lawn care. He was dubious, aren't all men?, but he let me proceed. I found out the cost, and was able to target the areas we wanted. The response was too much for us. Honestly we were overwhelmed. We had jumped in so quick, and the calls were coming EVERY day, sometimes 15 to 20 a DAY, that we couldn't keep up. We did the same advertisement this year also, and once again, the calls flew in.

I have never seen this advertisement idea listed here. I would be more than happy to share it with anyone that I knew was NOT in my area. So far our competition has not capitalized on it, and we are hoping again to do it for a 3rd year. This advertisement gives us the freedom to pick and choose who we want to work for, and lets us slowly weed out the less profitable yards, for more of the "gravy" yards.

I guess my point to all this rambling is, you have to find out what works for YOU in YOUR area.
A yellow page ad that works in Chicago does not necessarily mean it will work in Little Rock.


Good Luck,

Jodi

KirbysLawn
08-15-2000, 01:24 AM
Jody, I'm not in your area and I'm always looking for new ideas, my email is below if you wish to contact me.

ray@kirbycuttin.com

Thanks.

yardsmith
08-15-2000, 01:52 AM
Jodi-
could you expand on what type of ad it was? Was it done by an insurance agency or an ad agency, & what was the means of distribution-radio, or printed page, etc.? Guess I haven't heard of or don't recognize that one.
Thanks (I'm in Ohio):)

jaclawn
08-15-2000, 07:13 AM
Most all lawn care and landscapers around here are working at capacity. Many, (I included) have waiting lists of people wanting service. Just last week, I was flagged down by a fellow contractor, wanting to know if I wanted three prime accounts, all in a row, in a neighborhood that I work in. Had to turn them away. Simply working at capacity.

I never did have to advertise. Simply doing a good job, and being dependable has worked well for me.

I take that back, one time, when I first started offering snow plowing services, I direct mailed 50 postcards to a select group of business that I was interested in plowing for. Got 4 jobs, and quoted sevral others.

I do have my work truck lettered, only company name, and telephone number. This keeps people from stopping to ask for my contact info. They can get it themselves off the truck.

Most scapers around here are friendly to one another. They know I'm not out to steal their jobs, and they are not out to take mine. Don't have to.

I do see that some folks in my area do still advertise. This leads me to believe that they do shoddy work, and are forced to continually find new customers because they can't please them.

TGCummings
08-15-2000, 10:34 AM
Hey Jodi,

If you're not on the Central Coast of California, pass your secret along to me at CummingsLNG@aol.com. I have never, in six years, advertised in any way except word of mouth but am starting to look into that now. I'd be *very* interested to hear what this method is you've been running...

Thanks in advance! :)

-TGC

Acute Cut
08-15-2000, 11:14 AM
Jodi,
am over here in Northern Washington state so i am curious as well i suppose. My email is Lomers1@excite.com.

Thanks

lja
08-15-2000, 11:38 AM
hey jodi

ljaindustries2@aol.com..........very interested in your secret .......

rick

scottt
08-15-2000, 04:20 PM
Jodi,
This is my first year in business and would like to know your secret. I am in Oklahoma so I'm not near you.
Thanks, lno9402185@aol.com

Guido
08-15-2000, 05:08 PM
I'm in Germany, don't think we are competing for the same customers. Please e-mail me more info please!!

Guido1@surf1.de


Do any of you guys use the property transfer page in your weekend paper?? Anytime property, commercial or resedential, changes hands, it goes in that listing for the public to see. Send them a letter that congratulate's them on their new property at such and such a street, and explain your services for them. If its not out of the way go check it out and advise on some things that can be done to improve on their property.

Hope this Helps!!

Lanelle
08-15-2000, 05:51 PM
Regarding Guido's suggestion of targeting new property owners, in our area services exist that collect that data, put in on mailing labels and sell those to businesses. It's easy to peel and stick the label to your marketing piece. Some sort of personalized follow-up is a good idea.

Mowman
08-15-2000, 05:52 PM
Jodi
I'm interested in your secret. If you could e-mail the information I would greatly appreciate it. I live in Northwest Ohio, so no threat to you. Address is angjoe@henry-net.com Thanks for your help, it is greatly appreciated.
Mowman

1MajorTom
08-16-2000, 12:38 AM
Ok, I hope I responded to everyone that asked. I just sent out one basic response to everyone.

If you e-mailed me, and I missed your name, it wasn't intentional. Let me know, and I'll make sure to get back with you.

Also I'm curious to know what you think of the idea, and if you think it would work well for you in your service area.


Jodi

Acute Cut
08-16-2000, 04:06 AM
missed me.

new lawn
08-16-2000, 09:55 PM
I have found that seniors are great customers and in my area we have a Township Senior Center, which I found out about this from a client. I put one ad in for $25 and man the calls came in. Seniors talk and the ones that didn't see it in the monthly paper heard about it. I was the only Lawn Care Service that has ever advertised in this publication and WOW the eairly bird does get the worm! I highly recomend looking in your area for a Senior's center and advertise...It's worth it!

This October 5 they are holding an annual bazaar and for $40 I can set up a table and bring whatever I want to help sell my service i.e. pictures, written compliments, whatever I want. over 1,000 seniors come to this thing and this is the good part AGAIN, I WILL BE THE ONLY LAWN SERVICE GUY THERE! Sorry folks they promised me the spot so don't even try it where I am. Yup Seniors are great they always pay on time, great conversation, and some of them bake me pies! Gotta love that!!!

Lanelle
08-16-2000, 10:04 PM
If you would like to have numerous residential properties in the same neighborhood, advertise in that community's homeowner association newsletter. Usually the rates are very cheap and the response good because people know that you are wanting to work in their neighborhood. Since most of the lots are of similar size, its easy to establish a minimum and an average price for that area.

raymow
08-16-2000, 10:42 PM
i advertise in our county wide circular
that has been my best mode.